Better Call Saul
17th August 2022
Words: Shane Ramdhany
Better Call Saul Finale: A legal crescendo that is as heart-wrenching as it is satisfying.
Shane Ramdhany is the lead writer for Revamp’s the Inner Screen.
Full Spoilers ahead!
One of prime time’s greatest contemporary dramas draws to a close with the finale of “Better Call Saul.” This last episode methodically transitions from past to present, capturing subtle moments that significantly enhance the depth of Saul’s evolution through the duration of this series. We are ultimately provided with an ending whose poignancy is earned through a culmination of both “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” thus making its impact immeasurable.
As we watch Saul face the inevitable consequences of his choices that have evolved over his entire career, this narrative is generated through a lens that has established a rich foundation with which to build upon. Gilligan effectively crafts a tale that draws connection between all of Saul’s immoral and outright criminal decisions throughout the course of his life and yields an outcome that feels logical, despite its emotional gut-punch. The episode maximizes it use of time through its utilization of flashbacks to various notable moments in the “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” timelines to create a more holistic narrative. These moments serve as meditations on Saul’s character, which can only be described as both superficial and myopic as he narrowly focuses on personal gain while ignoring both the systemic and social-emotional consequences of his ideas. The major exception here is the relationship with his brother, a moment which emphasizes his capability of attaining virtuosity in being a good man.
In the final sequence, we see Saul embrace altruism as he provides testimony to relieve Kim’s accountability while emphasizing his own. This ultimately leads to what is more or less a life sentence. As grim as this outcome seems, we then witness Saul rapidly adapt to his new incarcerated setting that elicits parallels to his career as a Cinnabon manager. We are left with some comfort that he has crafted a new home for himself while continuing to embrace punishment for the nigh-infinite decisions that have led to the emotional and physical destruction of many people around him.
The closing act involves a sweet nod to Saul and Kim’s early exchanges that is now portrayed in true noir flair with its black and white palette. Following this reflective moment, the last scene serves as affirmation of the finality of Saul’s fate, dissipating any hope that there is one last card to play. What may seem like an initial sense of disappointment then dissolves into a realization of the significance of his soul’s redemption. As the camera pans out of view of our lead, it brings with it a palpable sense of loss. This is a loss not for him, but for all of us who must bid farewell to a unique and quintessential drama that is perhaps the only entity that, as a whole, transcends the charisma of Saul Goodman.